I’ve given too much pauses on that reply.
We’re both carefully picking up the correct words from our vocabularies. We both tried to be neutral and casual.
But you really can’t hide feelings, can you?
As I give him my answers, I immediately felt the reverberating waves of judgement and worry of a parent’s instinct, though small. I sat silently on the passenger seat beside him on a chilly 4:45am, listening to ballad OPM songs and to his deep sighs. “Anak, bakit di pa siya pumupunta sa bahay?” Pa, he’s not visiting yet, I replied; he wanted to be someone before he gets formal, a registered engineer perhaps. Let him take and pass the board exam muna! He shuffled to his seat with quiet gestures. Why, he said, should it be from our village. It’s not appropriate. Which could automatically translated to “you could’ve pick better” or “I’ve expected great things from you” or “this decision is just bullshit. You’re beginning to disappoint me, Ate”.